Sarah and Trevor

How We Met

We were friends for a few years before dating, well actually before living together and then dating. I moved back to San Jose, CA after my Dad’s health scare, my Aunt’s passing, a bad break up, and a layoff. A good friend from college suggested I move in with him rather than stay at my parents for too long. On weekends we went to San Francisco for all the city had to offer and I quickly met Trevor who had gone to grad school with my friend. After some time my friend and I moved to the city so we didn’t do weekend warrior commutes anymore. Then I started going to Trevor’s amazing BBQ potlucks and was soon asking that he tell me when a spot on his street opened up. It was in the Presidio, an old military base in SF and a beautiful natural retreat from the city chaos. One morning on a trip to Tahoe with friends Trevor asked if I wanted to move in and I said yes!

But I was a bit sad because by then I had a crush on him but figured he wasn’t interested in me. Turns out he thought I wasn’t interested in him because whenever he tried making a move I would shut him down…I was just nervous! We both had calendars heavy with friends’ weddings and he was always a groomsman. For one he wasn’t so late one night while we were up dancing in the kitchen with friends I said I’ll go with you if you need a date and he did! Next thing you know we were on a date to a wedding and the rest is history! One time I asked if he can pin point when we met and he said it was the Republic, an old bar off Chestnut Street in SF. I was wearing a blue and red stripped sundress…so maybe he had a crush on me longer than I had a crush on him.

How He Asked

I asked my boyfriend, then fiance, now husband to marry me! I got this idea in January. We had been talking about moving to his family’s farm in Virginia to help with the business and since I love sharing with family and friends, I started getting a lot of feedback that I should tell him a requirement of the move is that he ask me to marry him. As I was marching for women’s rights I thought now why would I basically ask him to ask me to marry me. Why don’t I ask him myself. So I shared that with family and friends. Some were so supportive and in love with the idea. Others thought it would emasculate him. That got me thinking harder about it, where would I ask him, how, when? So many questions and details! I was loving the feedback from friends and family because it seemed to be opening this door to understanding where they were and why they were thinking about engagements in the way they were.

Sarah and Trevor's Engagement in Presidio Community Garden

For example I learned my baby sister’s boyfriend has been dreaming of asking someone to marry him since he was a young boy and now he can’t wait to ask my sister. I mean how cute is that?! Anyway, back when we were just friends and roommates, we got a garden plot in the Community Garden down the street from our townhouse and grew veggies and just bonded really nicely over the work and effort it took. With the upcoming move to the family farm, I thought, maybe the community garden coordinator can help me get a secret plot for a month so I can grow and ask him with lettuce in the shape of marry me? She said yes! So after months of waiting for a plot to open I got one in between crops. Next step was to ask our roommate Taylor to get Trevor out of the house so I could plant the seeds. Literally.

He took him golfing early on Earth Day, ironically. So I jumped up and texted my girlfriends to see if anyone could help. Four said yes! Hyla, Jenny, Susie, and Nicole. Each are from different areas of my life so it was extra special to spend the morning with the four of them planting my engagement garden with me. After about a month and a second planting because my thumb is not as green as I thought the garden was ready use! I had to ask him by May 16 because I had to turn the garden plot back in for use. We planned on walking down to the garden for kale to add to Monday’s left over soup after Trevor got back from basketball at the Y. He loves playing and loves catching up with the guys there so they easily stalled him while I rushed to put little cooper lights on the garden to make everything stand out more as the sun set.

It was perfect timing because he got him right before I did and so before he could kick his shoes off I had him walking with me to the garden. He loved that we were going together because usually it was one of us going for kale. As we were walking I had planned to give him this nervous little speech about asking him so when we got there he’d see marry me in lettuce. Instead he spend the time talking about every play of his pick up basketball game acting like it was NBA finals or something. That’s a usual thing, it’s cute :) So we got there and he sees lights a couple plots over from our garden so I say, that’s my project. Let me show you. And he saw it and kept saying you did this? Of course I’ll marry you. And I kept trying to give this silly little speech about how marriage is like a garden and it took a community to help me plant it and it takes a community to make a marriage last…so basically we were ecstatically talking over each other. Turns out our roommates snuck across the street so they got some cute pictures after we had our moment.

Sarah's Proposal in Presidio Community Garden

Then we cut the hearts that were made of lettuce and made a big garden salad made with lots of TLC <3 And that’s how we got engaged! Huge thanks to so many of our friend and family. I asked his parents months ago and mine too. His basketball friends – Chase and Steve. My gardening girlfriends – Hyla, Nicole, Susie, Jenny. Our roommates – Victoria, Colin and Taylor. The support for this nontraditional proposal was everything. It’s hard to find stories of women proposing to their boyfriends and so I hope this inspires even just one woman to think about doing it herself. It was the most fun, challenging, empowering thing I’ve done and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Thank you :)